The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment leads in advising and implementing the government’s policies of stimulating the productive capacity of the economy and creating an environment which enables employment creation and sustainability. The department is also charged with promoting fair competition in the marketplace, protecting consumers and safeguarding workers.
Investment in innovation is an essential component of supporting an enterprising and productive economy. Government support for innovation assists in creating and maintaining high-value jobs and helps to attract investment and develop business in Ireland. The department funds and promotes enterprise-led innovation through a range of programmes and supports delivered for the most part through Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland.
We drive the development and delivery of the enterprise development programmes of IDA Ireland, the principal agency charged with attracting foreign direct investment and promoting Ireland as the best small country in the world to do business. We promote the development of Ireland’s exports to world markets and work with Enterprise Ireland to help Irish companies achieve global success.
We provide a range of tailored supports for enterprise of all sizes in Ireland. Supports include access to finance, management development, mentoring supports, business development programmes, market supports and trade promotion. We hold structured dialogue with key stakeholders and we advocate across government to ensure the needs of SMEs are taken into account in the execution of national policy.
The department engages with key stakeholders to address issues that arise on a business or sectoral basis across all areas of enterprise activity. These business and sectoral initiatives are across a wide range of areas covering internationally traded goods and services as well as the domestically traded sector. The key focus is to develop and implement policy to enhance the enterprise environment leading to the start-up and growth of competitive firms in Ireland and sustainable development for enterprises of all sizes.
We ensure through work at national and international levels that workplaces are safe, employment rights are respected, harmonious industrial relations are promoted and any disputes or breaches are handled efficiently and effectively; that skills needs are identified and met through alignment of education and training provision and, as required, through targeted and efficient economic migration.
We have a leadership and coordination role in respect of the EU Competitiveness Council and on the Single Market and generally in driving the department’s EU agenda. We engage proactively at EU institutional level and with our EU partners so as to ensure that departmental EU priority measures are advanced. We support our ministers in their pursuit of achieving domestic and EU policy outcomes that are supportive, in particular, of the enterprise, competitiveness, single market and innovation agendas. In relation to Brexit, we ensure a coordinated and coherent approach to Brexit across all policy areas of the department.
Company law provides the legislative framework for the structure and operation of companies registered in Ireland, whether domestic or foreign. It seeks to ensure a balance between simplifying the day-to-day running of a business; maintaining necessary protections for those dealing with companies, such as creditors and investors; and putting in place an effective corporate governance regime to ensure compliance. This law is contained in the Companies Act 2014 and related statutory instruments. Some company law derives from EU legislation. A similar regime applies to industrial and provident and friendly societies.
To help make markets work effectively for consumers and for the economy as a whole, our work falls under two main headings: national policy and EU policy on current competition and consumer matters; and supporting as well as liaising with and monitoring the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.